THE former home of the Radcliffe Times is set to be given a new lease of life after a deal was struck to turn it into apartments.

Planning permission to turn the derelict site, in Church Street West, into 10 one-bed apartments was granted last August.

Now, a conditional agreement has been agreed between Bury Council and an unnamed North West developer to deliver the homes, which once completed, will be owned by the council and made available for affordable rent.

The council has hailed the scheme as an important step in its plans to regenerate Radcliffe town centre.

Earlier this year the council announced a £1m scheme to support the regeneration of the town with on-street improvements, a new CCTV scheme and action on traffic and parking.

Radcliffe has also been selected for Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham’s Town Centre Challenge scheme.

Bury Council leader Rishi Shori said: “This scheme will have the dual benefit of giving us much-needed affordable housing in the area while utilising a prominent town centre brownfield site.

"I’m personally really happy to see this first step in bringing the Radcliffe Times building back into use, and can’t wait for the build to get going.”

To help fund the scheme, the council has also received a grant from Homes England.

The building, which was erected in 1899, was gutted by a fire in 2009 which saw flames spread throughout the four-storey 19th century building.

In January 2017, a section of the roof collapsed following high winds, and had to be renovated by Bury Roofing.

Chair of the Radcliffe Regeneration Task Group and Radcliffe North councillor Jamie Walker said: “Seeing this iconic building fall into near ruin over the past few years has been really hard for people locally, and it’s fair to say that it has been detrimental to the look and feel of the town.

“So I’m absolutely delighted that not only will we be bringing it back to life with its original façade intact, but for affordable housing right in the very heart of Radcliffe.

“We’re on with the Radcliffe Regeneration project, which will deliver physical improvements to the streets of the town.

"Getting the Radcliffe Times building back to its former glory is a really important piece of the jigsaw.”